Hong Kong International Airport suspended all incoming and outgoing flights Monday after thousands of pro-democracy protesters stormed multiple terminals; escalating months of clashes between local residents and the Chinese government.
“The demonstration is the latest in a series of mass protests spanning two months. Hong Kong activists are calling for more autonomy from Beijing and an independent inquiry into police behavior,” reports USA Today. “The tension was sparked by a since-shelved extradition bill, which would have allowed some suspects to be sent for trial in mainland China. Opponents believed the bill would expand Beijing’s control on the bustling international hub.”
"Pro-democracy demonstrators have occupied every inch of this terminal" says the BBC's China correspondent @StephenMcDonell, as Hong Kong airport cancels flights because of anti-government protests https://t.co/CsWaHwvus0 pic.twitter.com/kivWuoJ0h5
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 12, 2019
Hong Kong was ruled by the United Kingdom as part of a 100-year lease until 1997.
Since that time, the region operates as a “separate zone” from the rest of China; with eased restrictions on finances, technology, communications, and more.
Big sit-in at #HongKong airport against Police violence.
ALL flights are canceled (around 1100/day), protestors occupying terminals: pic.twitter.com/i5HTrX3aKJ
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 12, 2019
“The protests kicked off on June 9 as hundreds of thousands peacefully took to the streets until a group stormed the government headquarters, where police responded with batons and pepper spray. Since then, the conflict has intensified significantly into violence between protesters and police,” adds the website.
Read the full report at USA Today.